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'The Grandmaster' tells the story of real-life kung fu innovator Ip Man

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

Tony Leung plays Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee, in 'The Grandmaster.'

The Weinstein Company
Tony Leung Chiu Wai stars in 'The Grandmaster.'

“The Grandmaster” is a kung fu epic directed by Wong Kar Wai, better known for the ethereal lushness of films like “In the Mood For Love.” I’ve never been a big fan of Wong’s phantasmagoric prettiness, but at least here it provides a welcome corrective to the usual martial-arts mayhem.

Tony Leung plays Ip Man, the real-life kung fu innovator who most famously trained Bruce Lee. His life takes in the upheavals in China from the 1930s through the ’50s, including the Japanese occupation. The best fighting sequence, though, features Zhang Ziyi in a wintertime battle with a rival as a train just inches away from them roars in the background. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for violence, smoking, brief drug use, and language.)

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